Chip Gaines on struggling with 'Fixer Upper' fame: 'I lost a part of myself'

Kerry Justich
·2-min read

Chip and Joanna Gaines became one of the best known power couples in television after starring on HGTV's hit series Fixer Upper for five seasons. But after stepping out of the spotlight following the series's end in 2018, Chip is now opening up about the unexpected impact that fame had on him during that time.

In a preview for the couple's Super Soul interview with Oprah airing on Saturday, Chip admitted that "I lost a part of myself" in order to become famous.

"It was sad," the 46-year-old said. "I would say it took me a year to, while I was still filming, to try to grapple with what exactly it was that I was losing. And then that year off, I really think that Jo and I were able to kind of hunker down and really kind of try to unpack what it was about fame that seemed so incompatible with my personality."

Chip and Joanna Gaines have a discussion with Oprah about fame. (Photo: Getty Images)
Chip and Joanna Gaines have a discussion with Oprah about fame. (Photo: Getty Images)

The Gaines's, who have been married for 18 years, lead busy lives outside of the show with five children and their lifestyle brand and business Magnolia. Throughout it all, Chip shared that Joanna has been his rock.

"I want to speak on Jo’s behalf because she would never say things like this, but she is so incredibly wise, so incredibly grounded. All the things that you just described is who Joanna is," he continued. "And to be really frank, I thought that’s who I was also. But really what happened and was the truth for Jo and I was that it was no big deal for her."

The struggles that came with the family's success and rise to fame are something that Chip wrote about in his upcoming book No Pain, No Gaines: The Good Stuff Doesn't Come Easy. But it isn't the first time that he has spoken about it. In fact, during a 2018 interview for Cowboys and Indians magazine, he expressed a similar sentiment about fame.

"TV was a funny thing for me. I’m an authentic, sincere person. So, as long as things are natural and organic, I’m in my element. But the more staged something becomes, or the more required something becomes, it boxes me up, and I felt like toward the end of the Fixer Upper journey, I felt caged, trapped," Chip said at the time. "The first three years of Fixer Upper were some of the best years of my life. The last two years, not that we don’t look back on them fondly, but they were more of a job. So, something about breaking out of that has been liberating."

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